Eyvind Earle was an American artist, author, and illustrator noted for his contribution to the background illustration and styling of Disney animated films in the 1950s. Earle was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015.
Hired by Disney Studio in 1951 as an assistant background painter, Earle contributed to many productions, including For Whom the Bulls Toil, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, Peter Pan, Working for Peanuts, Pigs is Pigs, Paul Bunyan, and Lady and the Tramp. In particular, he is best known, and his work most visible, for providing the overall art direction (styling, backgrounds, and colors) for Sleeping Beauty.
Earle's first exhibition was at the Charles Morgan Galleries in New York in 1937. In 1939, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased one of his works. His work at this time was realistic painting. In the 1940s, he painted more than 800 Christmas card designs for the American Artist Group.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rahr West Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and Arizona State University Art Museum have purchased Earle's works for their permanent collections. His works have also been shown in many one-man exhibitions throughout the world.
Earle's work and distinct graphic styling have continued to inspire new generations of artists and animators, serving to influence the look of other animated films. These have included the Disney features: Pocahontas and Frozen, as well as the non-Disney animated feature, Open Season by Sony Pictures.
In May 2017 until January 2018, The Walt Disney Family Museum presented the original retrospective exhibition: Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle. An official hardcover catalog book with the same title [ISBN 978-1681882710] was produced to accompany the exhibition.